05 December, 2008


05.12.2008 "There are unfortunately Muslim terrorists, but certainly no Islamic terrorism" By Abu Bakr Rieger

Comment: Directed Indignation

(gm) Weather-beaten Peter Scholl-Latour, surely belongs to the few who prefer their own conviction, even in times of crisis. In his new book, "Der Weg in den neuen kalten Krieg" (The way to the new Cold War), he repeats his well-known scepticism with regards to the existence of a globally connected super terrorist network, more like a - according to Scholl-Latour - de facto" higgledy-piggledy association of diabolical perpetrators". Scholl-Latour also reminds us of the crucial statement of Brzezinskis, former security advisor to US president Carter, that with the word "terrorism", one can't define an opponent, but only one form of warfare. This type of warfare, modern and nihilistic, states (one only thinks of Gladio), left or right ideologists, religious zealots or other desperados have used in the same way for decades.

Let us be clear: There are unfortunately Muslim terrorists, but certainly no Islamic terrorism. Terrorism is a kind of warfare, which, by its definition, contradicts Islamic law, therefore it presupposes a ideological or ignorant perpetrator. The question remains, in whose interest, do these modern partisans, who, according to Carl Schmitt, act in an "irregular" way and, according to the classical definition, have the support of a mysterious " third party" fight. The current terror in Bombay, characterized by the senseless and "intoxicated" deaths of innocents, delivers a new boost to the opponents of Islam, who would like to simply and completely equate Muslims with terror. Already, a climate of intimidation prevails for the Muslims in Europe, through the use of chains of association in the mass media. Being labelled an " Islamist" - a vague term without a clear definition - accompanies the social ostracism.

At the same time, Obama's official Inauguration began with a spectacular act - without any foundation in law-, which sets the tone for all further geopolitical strategies and machinations on the Eurasian continent.

In India, the abysmal history of terror is, to some extent, complex and unclear. The so-called "Hindu World Council" was one of the driving forces behind the 2002 attrocities in the Federal State of Gujarat, where about 3,000 Muslims were massacred. The BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the actions. After the investigative news publication " Tehelka" uncovered his role in the highly publicised event, the majority of voters still elected him - without protest from the world public - to once again, serve in office in Gujarat. It is no surprise that neither the "Hindu World Council" nor other Hindu extremist organisations are, on the Indian terror list. Observers assume that their organizations consist of several millions members and have good connections with the Indian upper class.


These days, the news has been rife with reports and articles on the economic downturn. Of course there was that whole incident in Mumbai, but in the day-to-day slog of journalistic publications, it has been a minor detraction from everyone's favorite topic. In fact, if one was to read through the first few pages of most major (agenda setting) American newspapers, one would be under the impression that the average person cares for little outside of money and more specifically, other people's financial position. All in all, this might be an accurate image of modern society, but it seems limited, as if something was left out. This absence of other news, some of it actually relevant, is sometimes (frequently) referred to as the gatekeeper effect.

The gatekeeper effect and other similar processes play an integral role in what Noam Chomsky would define as the propaganda model. Chomsky believes propaganda, as well as censorship, in media is propagated intentionally by those who own the media conglomerates. This seems reasonably true to a certain extent, however, it could be argued that other occurrences have a stronger influence than the political ideology than those who control the means of production. That is to say that normally the media outlets are so far removed from the parent companies that there is only minimal direct coercion. This being said, there is still significant economic interference in the distribution of information.

This economic interference is primarily derived from the fact that most modern media outlets are large corporations. This is problematic since it requires a newspaper (or similar) to produce content that will generate the most attention, not what is most important. Furthermore, there is an increase on visual packaging and not content. For example, during the election, most of the major networks were broadcasting statistics all day, even though in some cases only 1 percent of the vote had even been tabulated. This information was essentially useless . it provided no relevant data. By choosing to broadcast the election count in the early afternoon, the networks were not reporting other news. This prevented the average person from attaining useful information (domestic or international).

There is also the fact that companies who advertise in newsprint or on television have influence on the content produced. For example, when a Fox affiliate intended to run an episode of the .Investigators. (which is probably defunct at this point) that insinuated that Monsanto.s bovine growth hormone product Posilac, Monsanto threatened to remove any advertisement spots it currently had with any Fox affiliate. Unsurprisingly, the episode was never aired. It.s hard to blame Fox in this situation since running the show would have caused a multimillion-dollar loss. However, this call into question Fox.s journalistic ethics. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe this incident is singular or isolated. In fact, it seems likely that intentional withdrawal of relevant information occurs frequently and just does not get reported (falsifying the news in not illegal).

On the bright side, most small (or smaller) media companies are not as susceptible since individual companies do not regularly invest millions of dollars in the form of advertising. Unfortunately, these smaller businesses tend to have slimmer profit margins, which means that they can still be coerced.

While most of us trust the news, however, this may not be as reasonable as initially thought. It is not illegal to intentionally falsify the news and in most cases, the falsification is rarely uncovered. Furthermore, there seems to be an economic incentive to not report the news as it is, but as it should be. In the end, what you read in the paper is as informative as a PR bulletin.



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posted by u2r2h at Friday, December 05, 2008


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